Georgia Juvenile Court Improvements, Perceptions of the Justice System and Foreclosures in Minority Communities Headline American Bar Association Meeting in Atlanta
CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2011—Initiatives to improve Georgia’s juvenile court system, perceptions of the justice system in minority communities, the loss of African-American land through heir property rights and the disproportionate impact of foreclosures on minorities are chief among issues that will be explored at the 2011 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting, Feb. 9 – 14, in Atlanta.
Many high-profile guests are scheduled to speak at the Meeting, including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree; Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham; David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP; Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; and a panel of general counsel from top Fortune 500 companies. In addition to diversity and perceptions of the justice system, programs will focus on legal topics and issues involving the practice of law, including value billing and success-based fees.
The 560-member House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, will meet on Feb 14 at the meeting headquarters, Marriott Atlanta Marquis, in the Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level. In addition to considering policy recommendations and voting on resolutions, the House of Delegates will hear from Rep. John Lewis.
Among the many resolutions before the House are two related to juvenile court proceedings and their consequences, 107B and 104D, one in support of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, resolution 109A, and others related to legal education, bullying and judicial disqualification.
Noteworthy programs include:
“Outreach Program on the Courts” A number of judges and lawyers will speak with 300 high school students about the judiciary and the importance of fair and impartial courts. Guests will begin discussion by looking at the recent assault charge brought against MTV “Teen Mom” Amber, involving domestic violence and the role of the court in family and criminal law.
Feb. 9, 9:35 – 11:10 a.m., Frank McClarin High School, 3605 Main Street, College Park, GA
“Bringing Youth Justice to Georgia” The panel will analyze Georgia’s initiative to improve the juvenile court process and outcomes for court-involved youth. Executive Director Sharon Hill of Georgia Appleseed Center and Judge Steven Teske of the Clayton County Juvenile Court are among panelists who will discuss the effectiveness of local initiatives to keep kids in school and out of court.
Feb. 11, 12:30 – 2 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Marquis Level, M202
“Back to the Future: Value Billing for the Legal Profession”
In today’s down economy, clients have become sensitive to lawyer billing practices, and are asking them to practice and bill differently. The ‘billable hours’ model may be replaced by other alternatives: project billing, value billing, fee incentives and success-based fees. In this program, general counsel from top U.S. corporations will discuss how lawyers are facing these issues of billing in today’s climate, as well as the importance of budgeting, project management and client relationships. The program will be introduced by American Bar Association President Stephen N. Zack.
- David Boies, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP
- Thomas L. Sager, vice president and assistant general counsel, DuPont Company
- Joseph K. West, associate general counsel, Walmart
- Murray R. Garnick, senior vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services Inc.
- Amy Schulman, general counsel, Pfizer
- Tea Hoffmann, chief business development officer, Baker Donelson
Feb. 11, 1 – 4 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atrium Level, A703/704
“What is Worth Billions of Dollars, but is Worthless? Heir Property in America and the Loss of African-American Land” Panelists will discuss how heir property has resulted in the loss of 95 percent of African-American farmland, particularly in the south, and how that land can be better preserved. Guests include Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia state director of rural development, USDA, and Crystal Chastain Baker, Georgia Appleseed, and others.
Feb.11, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Lobby Level, L403
“Debunking the Myth of the Post-Racial Society” Panelists will discuss unresolved issues of race and ethnicity in society, looking at recent events involving police brutality, racial profiling and immigration. The panel includes civil rights activist and Alabama’s first African American federal judge, U.W. Clemon.
Feb. 11, 3:30 – 5 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atrium Level, A701
“Combating Foreclosures and the Mortgage Crisis in Communities of Color” The panel will provide discussion and solutions to assist minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by the mortgage crisis. Georgia has been among the nation’s top ten foreclosure states, according to RealtyTrac.
Feb. 12, 2 – 4 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Marquis Level, Marquis Ballroom, Salon D
“The Conspirator” Entertainment and legal media are invited to a sneak preview and panel discussion (see below) of Robert Redford’s new movie, “The Conspirator,” based on the true story of the woman accused of conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. The movie’s examination of the fragility of individual rights in times of national struggle depicts a dilemma American lawyers have faced throughout history. James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood and Tom Wilkinson lead the cast.
The ABA is hosting three sneak previews at the Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 16, 261 19th Street NW, Atlanta. Times are:
- 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
- 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11
- 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13
If you would like to attend, please send your name, screening date and number of attendees to firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs are required. For more on the film, visit www.americanfilmcompany.com. The movie will be released to theaters on April 15.
“In Wartime the Laws Fall Silent? A Conversation Inspired by Actual Events and the Upcoming Film, “The Conspirator” (broadcast-quality movie clips used in this discussion will be available upon request)
A panel of former prosecutors and defense attorneys in high-profile cases will join film professionals to discuss whether the carriage of justice changes during times of national turbulence, a theme explored in Director Robert Redford’s new movie, “The Conspirator.” The program will focus on the movie’s historical perspective and, post 9-11, its contemporary relevance. Moderated by ABA Journal publisher Edward Adams, panelists will include “The Conspirator” screenwriter James Solomon; Fred L. Borch III, movie historian and chief prosecutor in the military commissions involving alleged terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay; Alan Yamamoto, a member of the defense team for convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui; and Charles J. Dunlap Jr., former deputy judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force.
Feb. 12, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Room A704
“The Forgotten Warrior: Services for Women in Veterans Health Care and Courts” Discussion focuses on the challenges faced by women veterans and partners of veterans in obtaining medical care and treatment related to their service and to domestic partner relationships. Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, director of the VA Center for Women Veterans, and Col. Linda Strite Murnane of The Hague, are among the panelists.
Feb. 12, 2 – 4 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Atlanta Conference Center, Dunwoody Room
“Perceptions of Justice: A Town Hall Dialogue on Color, Ethnicity and the Courts”
This town hall forum is moderated by Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham. After brief remarks, the moderators will open the discussion to the audience of lawyers, judges, local officials and members of the Atlanta community. Discussion will explore the extent to which ethnic groups perceive the justice system as fair and, if the confidence of these groups in the courts is lacking, what should be done to improve their confidence.
Feb. 12, 2 – 5 p.m., Georgia State University, The Speakers Auditorium, Student Center, 444 Courtland Street
During the Midyear Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be set up on the International Level of the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, and will open for on-site media registration at 8 a.m. on Feb. 10. Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 14.
Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at http://www.abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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